Background: Preterm very-low-birth-weight (≤1500 g) infants exhibit disproportionate weight-for-length growth in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Local problem: High frequency of body mass index (BMI) > 90th centile at discharge and 1-year postnatal age associated with elevated blood pressure and serum leptin in infancy and adolescence. Methods: Single-institution quality improvement project in appropriately grown infants born at 230/7–286/7 weeks gestational age and discharged home. Intervention: Adjustable feeding protocol based on valid serial length measurements (board or caliper). Results: The average monthly percentage of weight-for-length disproportion at discharge decreased from 13% in Epoch 1 to 0% in Epoch 2 (P < 0.05). Although the average Z-score for BMI at discharge was lower in Epoch 2 versus Epoch 1 (P < 0.01), this was absent by 1 year follow-up (P = 0.91). Conclusions: Adjustable feedings plus use of accurate serial length measurements decreases weight-for-length disproportion at hospital discharge but not at 1 year.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology